D.C. life

Newseum in DC - first amendment DC brunch - ardeo + bardeo DCnewseum - good photography quote Newseum - Berlin Wall artNewseum freedomGoing into my long weekend, I have to say I was a little skeptical about D.C. After living nearby in Virginia for several, albeit younger, years and a couple visits later, I still wasn’t sold on the magic of our capitol city. As far as U.S. cities go, New York, Seattle, Austin and Boston inspired an instant infatuation that has only grown stronger since my last visits. Los Angeles won me over with one of the best weeks of my life, and let’s face it, I’ve always been a self-proclaimed California girl at heart (with the birth certificate location to match, thank you very much)!

While I still don’t feel like I really “know” D.C. after this weekend’s trip, I can now say that I do see why people like it and have deemed it worth further exploration. Despite the too close for comfort winter storm warning, my trip enjoyed fantastically sunny weather with just the right amount of morning chill. On top of the weather, I also had some pretty good food, including a completely perfect brunch at Ardeo + Bardeo (great food, menu, atmosphere, service all with bottomless mimosas at decent prices) and a special night thanks to my cousin at Matchbox. Seeing his culinary success firsthand and hearing our waiter tell me, “We always take care of family,” filled me with Italian pride. And as this is probably the strongest familial, food-related pride there is, that’s really saying something.

Now it’s back to real life, and I’m taking this as the perfect opportunity to get back on track with a lot of real life things.

Between the traveling, health costs and a growing combination of laziness/never enough time, my budget has really gone out the window this year. I literally cannot afford to keep carrying on this way, so I’ll be taking stock this week, re-prioritizing expenditures and brainstorming some hopefully cheaper ways to continue exploring Dallas.

I’m forcing myself to write this next one as I’m really not feeling the motivation, but I know I’ll thank myself later…It’s er…well, time to start working out again. There, I said it, and if I’m being honest, I’m even feel a little relieved. I will be adding a couple yoga classes to my week, at least one (although I could probably stand more) runs, and looking for ways to be more active in general. Have you been seeing all the buzz lately about how bad sitting all day is for us? I’m feeling a little more motivated already…

Today I’d Rather Be….

getting-back-to-meg beachvespa travelingstanding in the ocean

If you can’t tell by all these pictures of other places I’d like to be, I’ve been feeling a little restless lately.

I realized, after months (and months) of getting settled and exploring, I feel like I can finally say I know Dallas. I know how to get where I’m going…although my apartment is still the first location to auto-populate in my Google Maps search thanks to all too frequent direction searching. I’ve explored a lot of the major neighborhoods, eaten at a different restaurants, gone out to some different bars, even managed to find multiple different coffee shops, which is quite a feat in a world now overrun by Starbucks’ on every corner. Some people might find all this comforting, but I was always the kid shoving furniture around my room every couple months to have “new” surroundings, living vicariously through often multiple book characters a week, and asking to go to a boarding school so I could have some adventures of my own.

Adjusting to life in one place and without the limitless flying privileges I used to be privy to while still a student is definitely, well…an adjustment. So to me this feeling means it’s time to a) go somewhere new and/or b) get creative.

Luckily, I actually do get to go somewhere pretty soon. Like Lydia, I’m also “planning” a trip, albeit much shorter and not quite as exciting as Europe…I will be celebrating my birthday weekend in Washington D.C. next week. The word planning is in quotation marks because (to my boyfriend’s chagrin) my idea of trip planning involves quite a lot of vague, general ideas about activities and destinations. I’m happiest when I’m just wandering around somewhere new, soaking it all in and stopping at places based on a providential mix of happenstance and locals’ recommendations. I’ve found countless great coffee, cupcakes, shops, and even some celebrities this way. All that said, I am quite excited to be somewhere I have to get on a plane to get to, and I would love any recommendations for cool, must-see (aka must eat or drink) local places.

As for the getting creative, I’m sure there’s plenty of new places in Dallas…now I’ll just have to find them.